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Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean theatre returns to York in 2019

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More than 400 years ago, the first audiences for Shakespeare’s plays enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting, crowded in close to the actors and the action, in a small theatre in the bustling city of London. In Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre an experience every bit as exciting, intimate and immersive will be offered to today's audiences in a dramatic playhouse setting beside the iconic 13th century Clifford’s Tower in the heart of the historic city of York.

Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587 (12 years prior to The Globe), the theatre combines state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of a 16th century Shakespearean theatre. It will house an audience of 900, with 560 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard, and standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.

Outside the theatre, visitors can experience a vibrant, free-to-enter Shakespearean village, offering the finest Yorkshire food and drinks from oak-framed, reed-thatched buildings, an array of ‘wagon’ entertainment, minstrels and a stunning Elizabethan garden with ornate box-edged beds of cottage flowers, roses and herbs.

Four of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays – Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night – will be performed by two companies of actors in repertory over the 10 week summer season (25 June to 1 September).

The unique environment of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre connects actors and audience together in ways many people will never have experienced before. While an interactive experience awaits those closest to the stage in the courtyard, no seat in the theatre will be more than 15m from the action, providing plenty of breath-taking, spine-tingling, heart-stopping moments!

With gruesome murders, grand poetry, magical powers and comic confusion, audiences will experience the comic heights and tragic depths of Shakespearean theatre in a memorable setting. Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will commence construction in June 2019.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is a temporary structure without air-conditioning or heating. All seats (560) are under cover with the groundlings area open air so please dress appropriately. Umbrellas are not permitted as they will impede the view of other patrons.